Increased physical activity like walking and healthy eating during pregnancy is directly associated with a range of improved outcomes at birth, reveals a new study.
Until this study was conducted, there had been little evidence about the overall benefits of dietary and lifestyle interventions on women.
Researchers from the University of Adelaide said that the results is world's biggest study of its kind and offered healthy eating and exercise advice to pregnant women who are overweight or obese.
The results suggested that women who received dietary and lifestyle advice increased the number of servings they consumed per day of fruits and vegetables, while reducing the percentage of energy in their diet derived from saturated fats.
The scientists also added that women were also successful in increasing their physical activity, with about 15-20 minutes of brisk walking on most days of the week.
Study leaders had previously reported that there was a significant reduction in the number of babies born over 4kg to women who received the diet and lifestyle advice during pregnancy.
The researchers were now able to report a range of other benefits for these babies, including a reduced chance of moderate to severe respiratory distress syndrome and reduced length of stay in hospital. Nearly 50 percent of women were overweight or obese during pregnancy.
The study was published in two papers in the journal BMC Medicine.